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278New Vintage Computer Forum and a question

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  • ErikSKlein
    May 5 8:38 PM
      Hello all,

      I just found this group while poking away at the net. I'm glad
      there's a community of Altair users/collectors. . .

      First off, I have a Vintage Computer Collecting forum that I started
      as an extension of my website at www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum.
      It has been accessible for about a week now and we've already got
      over 120 posts. I'm hoping that by getting the word out we can
      create a dynamic community.

      I encourage you to head over and take a look.

      Now, my question:

      As part of my collection I have an Altair 8800 (actually 2, but one
      is being rebuilt) and an Altair 8800BT.

      The 8800BT came with a pair of MITS 8" drives (Pertec drive, MITS
      controller in the drives and machine) and it works perfectly. Turn
      the key and the machine boots to a prompt.

      The 8800 came with the same setup but never booted. I recently tried
      a few things to figure out where the problem was.

      First of all, I tested the 8800 set of disk controller boards in the
      working 8800bt system and I have and determined that the cards are
      not the problem. (The drives that came with the 8800 aren't quite
      functional, but they are close)

      I then returned my attention to the original 8800 with its
      controller cards hooked up to the pair of known-good drives. For the
      life of me I can't get this machine to function properly. I have no
      idea why it won't boot, but it won't. It goes through the motions;
      it enables the boot drive and loads the heads but it won't output
      anything to the terminal.

      I suspected the serial card until I ran a test on that and was able
      to get it to spit data out from the proper output port. I've tested
      every other aspect of the system, within reason, and the machine
      appears to be fine. It just won't cooperate with me about booting.
      I'm at my wits end trying to boot this machine.

      Does anyone have any suggestions about what I can try next? I'd
      really like to have the 8800 boot from the drives someday. . .

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